Gluconolactone For Skin: The Ultimate Guide

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Gluconolactone is a powerful yet gentler acid that provides around 50% protection against UV radiation (1). It also offers various other skin benefits and suits almost all skin types – including sensitive, dry, oily, and rough skin. But how does it work and how do you use it? Here, we further elaborate on gluconolactone, its benefits, ways of use, and potential side effects. Keep reading.

What Is Gluconolactone?

Gluconolactone is an acid that acts as a natural, gentle exfoliator. It is available in a powdery form and is extracted from gluconic acid typically found in animals and corn. It belongs to a group of acids known as poly-hydroxy acids or PHAs, which differ from alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids. This acid is often used in a variety of skin care formulations to boost skin cell turnover and enhance the appearance of aging skin.

Gluconolactone works similarly to AHAs and BHAs, but is less drying. It is safe for use on sensitive skin. It offers various other benefits to skin. We will explore the same in the following section.

What Are The Benefits Of Gluconolactone?

Though gluconolactone is known for multiple skin benefits, more research is warranted to substantiate their efficacy. Some of its skin benefits include:

  • Has Antioxidant Properties: The structural composition of gluconolactone helps strengthen the skin barrier function. Gluconolactone’s antioxidant properties absorb free radicals and protect skin against ultraviolet exposure (2).
  • May Improve Skin Texture And Tone: Gluconolactone, being an acid, can effectively remove dead skin cells and make your skin smoother and brighter. It acts as a chemical exfoliator and effectively dissolves dead, dry skin cells – and enhances the overall skin texture. It also may help reduce blackheads, excess skin oil, and other debris.
  • Hydrates Skin: Gluconolactone is an effective humectant. It attracts water to your skin and hydrates it from within (3). As it also eliminates dead skin cells from the skin surface, it empowers the underlying ingredients to work more effectively. This ensures better moisture regulation.
  • Acts As An Anti-Acne Agent: Gluconolactone may have anti-acne effects (4). It could be extremely beneficial for acne-prone and sensitive skin. However, more research is warranted to further understand its effectiveness against acne.
  • May Have Anti-Aging Properties: In a study, gluconolactone could help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles associated with photoaging with just twelve weeks of use (5).

Now that you are aware of the major benefits of gluconolactone, it is time to understand how to make it a part of your everyday skin care routine.

How To Use Gluconolactone In Your Skin Care Routine?

Using gluconolactone is your skin care routine is simple. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • As a moisturizing product, you can use gluconolactone twice a day on clean skin.
  • As an exfoliant (a peel or a serum), use it a few times a week.
  • Do not use gluconolactone with other acids or retinoids if you have sensitive skin. Use both products on alternate days or use a gluconolactone-based product in the morning and a retinoid prior to going to bed.
  • Pair gluconolactone with an extra layer of moisturizer for an added dose of hydration.

A. Who Should Use It?

Gluconolactone is a better alternative than products containing AHAs that may cause peeling, redness, or sun sensitivity. Gluconolactone is good for all skin types. It is especially useful if you have sensitive or mature skin that easily gets irritated/red when exposed to harsh chemicals. Gluconolactone is composed of larger molecules that cannot penetrate the skin. Hence, it is ideal for sensitive skin.

B. How Often Should You Use It?

You can use it every day if you are not using any other chemical exfoliants in your skin care routine. Otherwise, you can use it twice to thrice a week, depending on the strength and formulation of the product you are using.

Note: Since gluconolactone does not penetrate as deeply as other acids, you may need to use it consistently to witness enhanced skin appearance.

What Ingredients Does Gluconolactone Work Well With?

You can use gluconolactone with skin care staples such as vitamin C, retinoids, and alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids. In fact, it is a superb ingredient for an overall anti-aging regimen (6).

That said, please consult your dermatologist to understand the best products that go with this gentle acids based on your skin type and underlying issues.
In the next section, we will look at the precautionary measures to keep in mind while using gluconolactone.

Safety Measures For Using Gluconolactone On Skin

When it comes to using gluconolactone effectively, here are a few important pointers to keep in mind:

  • Do Not Over-Exfoliate: Ensure your skin care routine does not include other acids or exfoliants such as retinoids, or else you risk over-exfoliating your skin.
  • Take Into Account Any Underlying Skin Conditions: Use gluconolactone under the guidance of a specialist if you have any underlying skin conditions like rosacea or atopic dermatitis. If you have sensitive skin, speak to your dermatologist about the effects of long-term use of gluconolactone.
  • Redness/Dryness: Since gluconolactone is an acid (though gentler than glycolic or salicylic acid), it still may cause redness and dryness. Ensure to speak to your doctor before using it to understand the right frequency and dosage.
  • Always Do A Patch Test: Before you start applying the product generously, do a patch test on your skin to check for skin sensitivities. This will help you understand if you are allergic to gluconolactone. Stop use and consult your doctor if you experience any inflammation, itching, or burning.
  • Read The Label: Read the instruction label of the product and follow as directed.
  • Check If You Have Acne: Exfoliating can be tricky if you are struggling with acne. Under- or over-exfoliating can lead to excess inflammation, redness, and breakouts. Practice caution.

It is also critical to understand the common side effects of gluconolactone. Keep reading.

Side Effects Of Gluconolactone

As discussed, gluconolactone does not penetrate into the skin as compared to its other acid counterparts. Hence, it is considered a gentler acid with noticeably fewer side effects.

However, if you have thin or highly sensitive skin, speak to your dermatologist about using glyconolactone products. If you have sensitive/compromised skin due to frequent flare-ups of eczema or dermatitis, do not use this ingredient until your current condition is treated.

Let us now look at the top 3 gluconolactone products you can integrate into your skin care routine.

Top 3 Gluconolactone Products You Can Use

  1. Exuviance Age Reverse BioActiv Wash: This foaming PHA facial cleanser wash is expertly formulated to gently exfoliate your skin while smoothening out your skin texture and removing makeup. Simply apply it to wet skin and massage gently, covering the entire face. Rinse thoroughly with water and apply twice every day for best results.
  2. Neostrata Restore Bionic Face Cream: This cream is ideally suited for sensitive skin and offers intense hydration. It has a balm-like texture and helps soothe and revitalize the appearance of stressed skin. Apply it to face and neck twice every day after cleansing.
  3. PCA SKIN Hydrating Serum: This hydrating serum boosts moisture retention and decreases inflammation, particularly on sensitive skin. This ultra-lightweight serum is perfect for those with dry skin. It leaves your skin soft, plump, and hydrated. Apply it to face and neck in the morning after cleansing.

Takeaway

Gluconolactone helps hydrate the skin while exfoliating it. It is also safe to use on sensitive skin, most often, on a daily basis. However, consult a dermatologist prior if you have a preexisting skin condition.

From moisturizers and toners to serums and face masks, you can find gluconolactone in a host of products. Use it consistently, at least for six to twelve weeks, to start seeing results.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Polyhydroxy Acid Gluconolactone Protects Against Ultraviolet Radiation in an In Vitro Model of Cutaneous
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8891041_The_Polyhydroxy_Acid_Gluconolactone_Protects_Against_Ultraviolet_Radiation_in_an_In_Vitro_Model_of_Cutaneous
  2. Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role of Skincare
    https://journals.lww.com/prsgo/Fulltext/2016/12001/Skincare_Bootcamp__The_Evolving_Role_of_Skincare.7.aspx
  3. Gluconolactone
    https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Gluconolactone
  4. The use of polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) in photoaged skin
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15002656/
  5. A polyhydroxy acid skin care regimen provides antiaging effects comparable to an alpha-hydroxyacid regimen
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15002657/
  6. A polyhydroxy acid skin care regimen provides antiaging effects comparable to an alpha-hydroxyacid regimen.
    https://europepmc.org/article/med/15002657

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.
Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).